Last month, the T. S. Eliot Foundation announced that the winner of the 2018 T. S. Eliot Prize is Hannah Sullivan for her collection Three Poems. The T. S. Eliot Prize, which former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion has described as “the prize most poets want to win,” is an annual prize for the best new poetry collection published in the UK or Ireland.
After months of reading and deliberation, Judges Sinéad Morrissey, Daljit Nagra, and Clare Pollard unanimously chose the winner from a shortlist of five women and five men, five of whose collections were debuts.
Chair Sinéad Morrissey said, “Hannah Sullivan’s Three Poems is an astonishing debut, challenging the parameters of what poetry can do. Her collection stood out even amongst this year’s outstanding and diverse shortlist. Rarely has such a significant poet arrived so fully-formed.”
Hannah Sullivan was born in 1979 and grew up in Ealing, in West London. She studied Classics at Cambridge, received her PhD in English from Harvard in 2008, and taught as an Assistant Professor at Stanford. Her study The Work of Revision, which examined how modernist approaches to rewriting shaped literary style, was published in 2013 and awarded the Rose Mary Crawshay Prize by the British Academy. Three Poems is her first poetry collection. She is an Associate Professor of English at New College, Oxford and lives in London with her husband and two sons.